Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shopping Around The Island Of Puerto Rico

Shopping is a favorite pastime in Puerto Rico.  You will not have to travel far to find a great place to shop.  Shopping around Old San Juan and Condado, offers a different shopping experience.  Old San Juan has jewelry stores, art and antique galleries, artisan and souvenir stores, while Condado has designer fashions, luxury goods and boutiques stores.  Here is a list of places to shop around Puerto Rico:

Aguadilla Mall in Aguadilla.
Centro Gran Caribe in Vega Alta.
El Senorial PLaza in Rio Piedras.
Galeria Paseos in Rio Piedras.
Las Catalinas Mall in Caguas.
Los Colobos in Carolina.
Mayaguez Mall in Mayaguez.
Montehiedra Town center in Rio Piedras.
Plaza Carolina in Carolina.
Plaza Centro Mall in Caguas.
Plaza Escorial in Carolina.
Plaza del Caribe in Ponce.
Plaza del Norte in Hatillo.
Plaza del Sol in Bayamon.
Plaza Las Americas ( The most popular mall in Puerto Rico) in San Juan.
Plaza Palma Real in Humacao.
Plaza Rio Hondo in Bayamon.
Prime Outlets Puerto Rico in Barceloneta.
Rexville Town Center in Bayamon.
San Patricio Plaza in Guaynabo.
Santa Rosa Mall in Bayamon.
The Outlet Route 66 in Canovanas.
Yauco Plaza Shopping Center in Yauco.

Happy shopping in Puerto Rico!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things To Bring To Puerto Rico

There is plenty to see and do in the island of Puerto Rico, from El Yunque to Old San Juan, but
before you travel to Puerto Rico, these are some important things to bring with you:

Travel Documents

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, American citizens only need a valid photo ID when entering and exiting from other states.  However, if you plan to also travel  to other islands in the Caribbean, you must have a passport.  


Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, warm-weather clothes are important.  Puerto Ricans like to dress up, so bring dressier outfits, if you plan to go to bars or clubs at night, and keep a lightweight sweater if you get cold easily with the air conditioner. Bring comfortable shoes for walking and a dressier pair to use at night at the clubs or bars.  Also, remember your swimsuit.

Sunscreen and Sunglasses

There is plenty of sun and warm weather in Puerto Rico.  Bring your sunglasses, plenty of sunscreen, and a hat to keep you comfortable during your travels in Puerto Rico.


Your MP3 player, computer, cellphone, tablet and camera are all optional electronics you might want to bring with you.  Electricity in Puerto Rico runs on 110 volts, with the same type of plug as in the rest of the United States, so you will not need a voltage adapter or converter.

Enjoy your travels in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Big Plans For Luis Muñoz Marin Park In San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, plans to reopen Luis Muñoz Marín Park as an eco-educational and extreme sports center in the heart of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The plan for Luis Muñoz Marín Park is to make it a big attraction for locals and tourists in Puerto Rico.

With a $110 million investment of public and private funding, the park will be powered in part by solar panels and windmills, and include areas for skateboarding, BMX, mountain biking, a wave pool for surfing, a zipline, and a technology pavilion.  Many of the attractions would be free of cost to users while some would carry fees.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood

Puerto Rico voted for statehood on the status plebiscite November 6, 2012.  The majority of the voters rejected the current Commonwealth status and voted for statehood.  The plebiscite ballot had two questions.  First voters had to choose whether they wanted the current status of Commonwealth to continue, and second, if voters rejected the Commonwealth status, voters had to choose one of three alternatives to the current status: statehood, independence and sovereign free association.

The rejection to the current status of Commonwealth got 54 percent of the votes and 46 percent favored the Commonwealth status.  On the second part of the ballot, the choice of Statehood won with 61 percent of the votes, sovereign free association got 33 percent and independence got 5.5 percent of the votes.

The non-binding referendum would require final approval from Congress.  Recently President Barack Obama had expressed support for the referendum and pledged to respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority.  The residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, but are prohibited from voting in presidential elections and Puerto Rico's resident commissioner in the U.S. House has no voting powers.

The vote for statehood has put Puerto Rico on the spotlight.  Millions of people outside the island have become interested about the future of Puerto Rico.  Some have mentioned, that Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state, could be an opportunity for the Republican Party to show inclusiveness to Hispanic voters.  A petition has been posted on the White House website asking the Obama administration to take action on the results of the referendum in Puerto Rico.  The petition wants to get 25,000 signatures.  Here is the petition:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Condado Vanderbilt Reopens In Puerto Rico

After being shut down for 15 years, Puerto Rico has re-opened the historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  A $270 million renovation was done on the grand  hotel built in 1919 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, a member of one of New York’s most prominent families.  The property was designed by the architectural firm responsible for The New York Biltmore and Grand Central Station.  Celebrities and politicians like Errol Flynn, Bob Hope, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt were once guest of the Vanderbilt Hotel.

The new banquet halls and the 1919 Restaurant are open at the Condado Vanderbilt hotel, but the 323 rooms and 131 suites will be available for guest when the hotel fully opens in the Spring of 2013.  Condado Vanderbilt Hotel will be one of Puerto Rico’s finest luxury properties, a symbol of an era of elegance that is reemerging in Puerto Rico.

The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel was called the Condado Beach Hotel until it closed in 1997.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medical Tourism In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico wants to be part of the medical tourism segment, the fastest growing tourism sector in the world today.  Puerto Rico is well-positioned to be part of this segment, with Puerto Rico's many hospitals, pharmacies, and clinical laboratories.  Medical cost on the island are lower by 40% to 60% compared to the States, that will help Puerto Rico draw tourists from the mainland U.S., the Caribbean and South America.

Puerto Rico aims to become the premier destination in the Caribbean for medical tourism.  Puerto Rico has the flight connections, infrastructure and medical services necessary to become a regional leader.  Already a world class destination, patients will have the opportunity to combine their health related stay on the island with leisure and entertainment.

These are the top 10 countries currently leading the world in attracting tourists for medical treatment:  Brazil, Costa Rica, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seaplane Service In San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours has started to offer charter and sightseeing flights via seaplane from San Juan Bay, In Puerto Rico.  The flights are on a nine-passenger Cessna 208 seaplane that can land on the water or airport tarmacs. 

The flights on Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours originate from Pier 6.  They offer charter flights to various locations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as sight-seeing flights.

With an investment of $3 million, Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours, will also include boat tours of San Juan Bay.  The boat trips will feature attractions of the new Bahia Urbana, a redevelopment plan for the San Juan waterfront.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things You May Not Know About Puerto Rico

Many may know that Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean.  A great place to vacation and enjoy great weather, beaches, music and food, but here are a few things you may not know about Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States

You do not need a passport if you are an American Citizen.  If you will be visiting other Caribbean islands, then you will need to bring a passport.  The currency is U.S. Dollars and the official languages are English and Spanish.

Fort San Felipe del Morro

El Morro Fort was built in 1600 by Spain, to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the city of Old San Juan from foreign enemies.  El Morro is a World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site in the U.S. National Park Service.  El Morro Fort gets over two million visitors a year.

El Yunque National Forest

Puerto Rico is home to the only tropical rainforest in North America.  El Yunque is 45 minutes from San Juan and is well-known for its incredible biodiversity.  The 28,000 acres includes four forest types and has 240 species of trees, more than 50 kinds of orchids, 150 different ferns, and hundreds of small animal and bird species call it home.  El Yunque is home to the endangered Puerto Rican parrot.

Camuy Caves

The Camuy Caves is one of the largest cave systems in the world.  The caverns are part of a group of limestone caves and underground waterways shaped by The Camuy River, the third-largest underground river in the world.  The caves are located between the towns of Camuy, Hatillo and Lares, in northwestern Puerto Rico. 

Bioluminescent Bays

Puerto Rico has three Bioluminescent Bays.  The three are: Vieques, Fajardo, and La Parguera.
These bays glow with a bluish light when the microorganisms in the water are agitated at night.

Arecibo Observatory

The world’s largest single-dish radio telescope The Arecibo Observatory is located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  More than 100,000 visitors stop in each year to enjoy interactive exhibits, audiovisual displays and to learn about basic astronomy.

Bacardi Rum

Bacardi Rum has been a registered brand in Puerto Rico since 1909.  Bacardi is known for its Bacardi White, Gold, Select, 8, 151 Rums, and mixed blends such as Bacardi Limón, Bacardi Dragon Berry, and Bacardi Peach.  Bacardi is the largest premium rum brand in the world.  The Cataño, Puerto Rico, production facility is the largest premium rum distillery in the world, producing more than 80% of the Bacardi rum sold globally.

Piña Colada

The popular cocktail was invented in Puerto Rico.  The Piña Colada was created on August 16, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Piña Colada is made of pineapple Juice, coconut cream, and rum. 

Take a look at this video of El Morro and Old San Juan in Puerto Rico:


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Enjoy this timelapse video of El Yunque:

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Top Places For A Drink In San Juan, Puerto Rico

There are a variety of places in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to enjoy a drink.  From spots at the beach, hotels, plazas or a favorite bar, pub or restaurant.  Many locations where you can relax and take in the scenery.  Here is a list of the top places to have a drink in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

El San Juan Hotel

The lobby at El San Juan Hotel is one of the trendiest places to see and be seen.  El San Juan is the place where locals in Puerto Rico go to people watch.  The lobby has four bars, dancing, and lots of entertainment.  Puerto Ricans love to dress up and party until early morning.  El San Juan Hotel is located in the Isla Verde area.

The Water Club

Mist Rooftop Bar & Lounge at the Water Club, is the hippest place in Isla Verde.  Is the perfect spot to have a drink and enjoy the beautiful view of Isla Verde beach, during the day or night.  Located in Isla Verde, The Water Club is a favorite place for the in-crowd in Puerto Rico.  The rooftop view blends well with this chic hotel.  

Ventana Al Mar

Ventana Al Mar is an outdoor park in Condado.  Puerto Ricans come to this park to enjoy the view of the beach, day and night.  Is a great spot to meet for a drink and enjoy the ocean breeze in the middle of the Condado area.  A variety of musical events are scheduled every month.  Ventana Al Mar means window to the sea.

El Alambique

Located on the beach in Isla verde, El Alambique is the place to grab a quick bite and a cold drink while at the beach.  This laid back and casual locale is popular with tourist and locals.

La Concha

La Concha Hotel is located in the heart of Condado and the lobby becomes the lounge at night.  La Concha has a nice ambiance for an evening drink.

El Convento

Located in the middle of Old San Juan, El Convento, is a picture perfect location.  Enjoy a drink and tapas while people watching in Old San Juan at El Picoteo, overlooking the open-air courtyard of Hotel El Convento.


A great area by the beach, that Puerto Ricans go to during the day, to enjoy drinks and fritters.  There are many shacks that sell fritters (bacalaitos and alcapurrias), rum drinks and beer.  Laid back and casual, is a great place to take in the views and the ocean breeze.


Upscale bar inside of Dragon fly restaurant in Old San Juan.  Trendy locale with two bars with an exotic cocktail menu.  Great for a drink before dinner or late at night.

La Placita

An outdoor plaza in Santurce and a favorite of Puerto Ricans.  There is live music and plenty of dancing with many bars and restaurants that surround La Placita.  La Placita is a big block party, that gets crowded on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  La Placita is a casual environment and the location to see how Puerto Ricans party.  

Old San Juan

In Old San Juan you can bar hop, day or night.  Enjoy a drink while looking at the colonial buildings or people watching.  On San Sebastian street, there are a number of bars that are favored by Puerto Ricans.


San Juan Bay Cruise

Take a cruise of the San Juan Bay.  Enjoy music, drinks and the view, day or night, as the boat cruises along the San Juan Bay. 

Enjoy these places and what they have to offer!

Here is a video of the view of Isla Verde Beach:




Sunday, October 7, 2012

311 Information Service In Puerto Rico

The government of Puerto Rico has launched a new toll-free 311 telephone line that will provide information and services directly to people living in Puerto Rico.  The 311 service called, “Your Line for Government Services"or “Tu Linea de servicios de gobierno," will help the government to provide information and services to residents, and reduce the amount of non-emergency calls that the 911 emergency service receives.  With the 311 service, 911 operators will be able to instantly transfer non-emergency calls to the 311 system, which will have 72 bilingual operators.

The 311 call system will operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, is aimed at the  population that is still not computer savvy.  Puerto Ricans and visitors will be able to make official complaints and check the status of current requests for services.  The official 311 operators will also be able to send documents via email or fax to people in the island.

Some of the government agencies participating in the service are: the Child Support Administration, the Family Department’s Socioeconomic Development Administration, the Department of Public Works & Transportation (including its Driver Service Directory, the Maritime Transport Authority and the Metropolitan Bus Authority), the Department of Natural & Environmental Resources, the Department of Sports & Recreation, the Solid Waste Authority, the Environmental Quality Board and the National Parks Company. 

Within the year more government agencies will be in the service, and people living in Puerto Rico, will be able to call the 311 line to access any service offered by the government.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Royal Isabela Resort In Puerto Rico

Royal Isabela a luxury, boutique golf resort, in Puerto Rico, has opened "Las Casitas" and "La Casa."  The resort has 20 beautifully designed one-bedroom Casitas, with expansive indoor and outdoor space, and close proximity to the golf course and other amenities.  Each Casita has an outdoor patio with an ocean view, and a private terrace with its own pool.  La Casa designed in Spanish colonial style, is the community's "home" where guests will find The Restaurant, the comfortable Library, and the Croquet Bar, which looks over the 18th hole.  

Royal Isabela is a $100 million golf community and private membership club located on the bluffs of Costa Isabela at the northwest edge of Puerto Rico.  Royal Isabela is 90 minutes from San Juan International Airport and just 20 minutes from Aguadilla International Airport.  Royal Isabela Resort has 426 oceanfront acres.  The main focus at the resort is golf, but there are facilities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and access to a two mile sandy beach.

The golf course at Royal Isabela opened last year.  Golf Odyssey has called it the "Pebble Beach of Puerto Rico" and GOLF Magazine named it among the "top new courses to watch for" in the 2013 edition of the World's Top 100 Golf Courses.  The Golf course was designed by Stanley and Charlie Pasarell and golf architect David W. Pfaff.

Take a look at this video of Royal Isabela:


Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Look: The Mall Of San Juan In Puerto Rico

As Puerto Rico Is The Place previously reported, The Mall of San Juan will be the first upscale mall in Puerto Rico, and the first and only location on the island for both Nordstrom and Saks.  The project will also include a Crowne Plaza hotel and casino.  The Mall of San Juan will be a state-of-the-art,  two-level, enclosed mall, with customer-friendly amenities to enhance the comfort and convenience of visitors.

World-class retailers, dining and entertainment will be part of The Mall of San Juan.  The Mall will be located at the south end of the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, next to the San José Lagoon, and five minutes from the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport.  The Mall of San Juan has a contemporary design  that will reflect the rich culture and heritage of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Mall of San Juan is expected to open in late 2014.

Take a look at this video of The Mall of San Juan:


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Fifth "Pirates Of The Caribbean" To Be Filmed In Puerto Rico

It has been reported that the fifth installment of the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” will be filmed in Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rico Film Commission reported that Disney Pictures had picked Puerto Rico over Hawaii.  The movie franchise is among the most successful.  The “Pirates of the Caribbean”  series has grossed more than $3.7 billion around the world.  “Pirates of the Caribbean” would be the biggest production to date to be filmed in Puerto Rico, thanks to aggressive incentives that have attracted filmmakers to the island.

Two years ago, some scenes of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” were shot in Puerto Rico.  Producers enjoyed the the local film crews and the locations in Puerto Rico.  Filming is expected to begin in November, starring Johnny Depp, reprising his role of Jack Sparrow.  Depp has filmed “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “The Rum Diary” in Puerto Rico. 

We will be hearing much more about this news in the near future.  Other productions recently filmed in Puerto Rico are Showtime’s “The Big C” and the movie “Runner, Runner” with Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.




Sunday, September 9, 2012

Orocovis, Puerto Rico

Orocovis, Puerto Rico is located in the Cordillera Central (Central Mountain Range), and is the geographical center of the island.  Orocovis nickname is “The Heart of Puerto Rico.”  The highest peak of the town is Cerro Mogote.  Most of the high peaks are in the southern region of Orocovis.

Orocovis is known for the folk art tradition of wood-carved saints.  One of the notable artist of wood-carves saints, Celestino Avilés, founded the Museo de la Familia Avilés, where visitors can see his signature works.

Many Puerto Rican performers were either born or raised in Orocovis, and that is why Orocovis is sometimes called "The Musical Capital of Puerto Rico."  Some of these musicians are: Bobby Valentín, merengue singer Manny Manue, Emma and Edwin Colón-Zayas, and folk singer Andrés Jiménez.

These are the Orocovis festivals: Orocovis Fiestas Patronales are held in June. the Infant Theater Festival in April; the Festival del Camarón in July; the Arts Craft Fair in September; and the National Festival of the Puerto Rican Pastel in November.

A two hours drive from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will take you to Orocovis Tourist attractions.  These are the places to see: “El Chorro de Doña Juana” (Doña Juana Waterfalls),  Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park, Toro Negro Forest Reserve, and Mirador Orocovis-Villalba, where, from a lookout tower 2000 feet above sea level, you can enjoy a great view of the mountains and both the Atlantic Ocean on the North and the Caribbean Sea on the South.

Take a look at this video of Doña Juana Waterfalls in Orocovis:

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Holidays In Puerto Rico

The following are Holidays in Puerto Rico:

January 1, New Year's Day - Banks and stores are closed.

January 6, Three Kings Day - Banks and stores are closed.

January 11, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Birthday - Banks and stores are open.

January 18, Martin Luther King's Birthday - Banks are closed, stores are open.

February 15, Presidents Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

March 22, Emancipation Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

April 2, Good Friday - Banks and stores are closed.

April 4, Easter Day - Banks and stores are closed.

April 19, Jose de Diego's Birthday - Banks are closed, stores are open.
May 31, Memorial Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

July 4, Independence Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

July 19, Luis Munoz Rivera's Birthday - Banks and stores are open.

July 25, Constitution Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

July 27, Jose Celso Barbosa's Birthday - Banks are closed, stores are open.

September 6, Labor Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

October 12, Columbus Day - Banks closed, stores are open.

November 11, Veteran's Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

November 19, Discovery of Puerto Rico Day - Banks are closed, stores are open.

November 25, Thanksgiving Day -  Banks and stores are closed.

December 25, Christmas Day - Banks and stores are closed.

It is best to check with the commercial establishment in Puerto Rico, for specific schedules.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Puerto Rico Facts

Name: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Capital: San Juan

Location of Puerto Rico: 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida

Island Size: 100 x 35 miles

Population: 3,706,690

Currency: U.S. dollar

Official Languages: Spanish and English


Average High Temperature(F): 90
Average Low Temperature(F) : 70

Driving: Driving is on the right hand side of the road. 

Electricity: 110-220 volts.

Drinking age: 18

Mail: U.S Postal Service rates and services are the same as in the U.S. mainland.

Passports: Foreign nationals should have valid passports and visas as required.  Passports are not necessary for American citizens.  American citizens planning to continue their travel to other islands after Puerto Rico, will need a passport.

Time Zone: Puerto Rico is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is one hour later than U.S. Eastern Standard Time(EST) from October through April,and the same as Eastern Daylight Saving time from April through October.

Tipping 15%-20% suggested.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Picture Perfect Places In San Juan, Puerto Rico

Looking for that perfect picture opportunity in San Juan, Puerto Rico?  Here are a few of the places in San Juan, Puerto Rico to get some great photography shots:  

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Garita, El Morro Fort, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan

Places for a great picture include:  Any street in Old San Juan with its picturesque colonial buildings    and narrow streets made of blue cobblestone, Paseo de la Princesa, a walking path alongside the San Juan bay, Puerta de San Juan, one of the only remaining doors of the wall that surrounds the city, and a Garita at El Morro Fort.

El Morro Fort, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Old San Juan's El Morro fort, built in the 1600, will take you back in time, and you will find many    photo opportunities. 

Condado Lagoon, Puerto Rico

Condado Lagoon

In the Condado area, the lagoon is a great place for a picture day or night.

Isla Verde Beach, Puerto Rico

Isla Verde Beach

Isla Verde Beach is the best beach in the San Juan area.    Get a cold drink, like a Puerto Rican Piña Colada and pose for the camera. 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Search Of Pork Roasted On A Spit (Lechon En La Varita) In Puerto Rico

Arroz Con Gandules, Boiled Banana, Roasted Plantain And Pork In Puerto Rico

Pork Roasted On A Spit In Puerto Rico

On the weekends during the day, Puerto Ricans go in search for lechon (Pork).  The popular places for lechon en la varita or pork roasted on a spit are in Guavate, near Cayey, Puerto Rico.  In the mountainous region of Guavate you will find many lechoneras, outdoor restaurants that have a whole pig slow roasted over an open fire pit, so that the pork is tender, moist and full of flavor.  You can order lechon with rice and pigeon peas, yellow or green plantains, sweet potato, and boiled banana.   For those who do not eat pork, turkey and chicken is available.  It is best to get there by noon on the weekends.  Some of the lechoneras are open during the week. 

To get to Guavate from San Juan, go southbound on the Luis A. Ferre Expressway (PR-52) to Cayey.  This will take about 30 minutes.  Then exit at PR 184 and go up the mountain to Guavate.  On this road you will see the lechoneras.  Enjoy and buen provecho!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mona Island, Puerto Rico Could Become A World Heritage Site

Mona island, off the west coast of Puerto Rico, could be recognize as a World Heritage site.  New Progressive Party Representative Eric Correa Rivera is petitioning the United Nations to add the uninhabited island to its list of sites considered to be of outstanding value to humanity irrespective of the territory on which they are located.

Mona island located west of Puerto Rico and east of the Dominican Republic, has a rich history and a wide range of flora and fauna.  The unique island is one of the most important biological and archeological laboratories in the region.  Correa said, "It is important to recognize the importance of this little island in the development of Caribbean culture.”  Correa, who is chairman of the House Natural Resources, Environment & Energy Committee, sent a formal request to, UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Executive Director, Irina Bokova.

Covering 22 square miles, Mona island is the third-largest island of the archipelago of Puerto Rico, after the main island of Puerto Rico and Vieques.  Mona Island is currently managed as a nature reserve by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural & Environmental Resources.  The island is known among divers for its vibrant reefs and crystal clear waters.

 "Mona island uniqueness should be preserved with this important designation," Correa said.   Receiving the designation of a World Heritage site from UNESCO, would place Mona Island in the same company as El Morro Fort in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Here is a video of Mona Island:


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Real Estate Incentives Program Gets Extended In Puerto Rico

Did you ever had the desire to own a home in Puerto Rico?  This could be the perfect time to buy.  The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, is extending the home-buying incentives program through the end of 2012.  The Governor wants to continue this initiative, that provides the opportunity for families to buy their own home.

Under the Real Estate Incentives Program, those buying new homes get a five-year property tax exemption, a 100% exemption on the capital-gains tax at the time of resale of the new property, and a 100% exemption on fees, stamps and vouchers.  In addition, buyers of existing homes get a 50% exemption on fees, stamps and vouchers and a 50% reduction on the capital-gains tax at the time of resale.

Since the program was implemented, 27,000 homes with a value of $3.7 billion have been sold.  The program applies to residential and commercial properties worth $3 million or less.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vieques and Culebra, Puerto Rico Will Be Served By Private Ferries

Three private ferries will be put into service to help improve the service between Fajardo, Puerto Rico, and the offshore islands of Culebra and Vieques.  The three private ferries: two cargo boats and a passenger vessel, were contracted from Puerto Rico Fast Ferries to help the Maritime Transport Authority (public ferry service) with some unreliability problems, that were creating protest from Vieques and Culebra residents.  Many rely on the ferry service to get to work, shop or get medical care on the main island of Puerto Rico.

The 160-foot cargo ferries can carry a deck load of 280 tons, equivalent to six 40-foot containers or between 12 to 18 cars.  Both have room for 68 passengers in an air-conditioned cabin.  The cargo ferries can reach speeds of 34 miles per hour, and can go from Fajardo to Culebra or Vieques in just under 45 minutes.  The 151-foot passenger ferry has room for 378 passengers and has a twin-hull design providing for a smooth ride.  The passenger ferry can travel 40 miles per hour, making the travel from Fajardo to Vieques and Culebra in 30 minutes.  Each ferry has three plasma TV screens for entertainment.  

With the private ferries, the offshore islands will be more accessible to visitors, and this will help increase tourism to Vieques and Culebra.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mona Island, Puerto Rico

Mona Island (Isla de la Mona) is located 41 miles west off the coast of Puerto RicoMona Island is the third-largest island of the archipelago of Puerto Rico, after the main island of Puerto Rico and Vieques.  It measures about 7 miles by 4 miles, and is the largest of three islands located in the Mona Passage, the other islands being Monito Island and Desecheo Island.

Mona is an ecological reserve and is not permanently inhabited.  Rangers from the island's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources reside on the island to manage visitors and do research projects.  Mona Island has caves and is surrounded by sea cliffs.  Many caves have drawings that were left behind by the Taíno Indians, the island's original inhabitants.  With an arid climate many endemic species inhabit the island, such as the Mona Ground Iguana.  The island serves as a retreat for Puerto Ricans and nature enthusiasts from all over the world.  Scientists, ecologists, and students have visited Mona Island to explore its distinct ecosystem. 

Often compared to the Galápagos island, Mona Island and the surrounding waters have plenty of sea birds, more than 270 species of fish and many endangered sea turtles.  Mona island is known among divers for its vibrant reefs and crystal clear waters.  The lighthouse in Mona Island was built in 1900, and was one of the first two lighthouses built by the U.S Government in Puerto Rico.  In 1981, the Mona Island Lighthouse was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as "Faro de la Isla de la Mona."  Tours to the island are available from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.  Another way to get to Mona Island is by private yacht.

Here is a video of Mona Island:


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Top Eco Parks And Tours In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a great place to enjoy nature!  You can enjoy ziplining, rappelling, hiking, and river trekking eco-tours in Puerto Rico.  There are many tour operators in Puerto Rico that offer these adventures with nature, here are the top eco parks and tours:

1)  Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park

      Toro Verde is the largest park in the western hemisphere.  It is located about an hour outside of San Juan, in Orocovis, Puerto Rico.  Get ready for an adventure geared to adults as well as children.  Toro Verde is a place where you can enjoy both, extreme sports and the beautiful landscapes.  You will be able to zipline, climb a mountain and go mountain-biking on routes with various difficulty levels.  The park has 15 ziplines, monkey bridges and the opportunity to do some rappelling.  La Bestia is Toro Verde main attraction, a face-down zipline that glides you across a 4,745-feet-long, and a 853-feet-high line, above a rainforest valley.  If you like the adrenaline rush, Toro Verde is the place for you.  Expansion of the park is in the works.  Plans include the addition of a hotel and The Oroverde Eco-Resort and Adventure Park.

2)   Rocaliza Adventure Tours

       Rocaliza Adventure Tours offers numerous tours that combine ziplining, waterfall rock climbing, river trekking, hiking and rappelling.  The tours take you to a rainforest near Caguas and the Julio Enrrique Monagas Park in Bayamón.  Rocaliza offers tours where you can learn about the local ecology.  Guides will escort you on a personal or group adventure. 

3)  Batey Zipline Adventures

      Batey Zipline Adventures is located in Utuado, Puerto Rico, near the Tanamá River.  The tours take place on 30 acres inside a tropical forest.  Eco-friendly living and tourism is their specialty.  Visits to the Tanamá River, as well as, caves and caverns, rappelling, zipline, and long walks, are part of the tours.  The locations are rustic and steep requiring good physical condition.

4)  Acampa Nature Adventures  

      Acampa Nature Adventures has ziplines in the Toro Negro rainforest, near Ciales, Puerto Rico, as well as camping, rappelling, guided eco-tours of  El Yunque rainforest, and excursions to Mona Island.

Comfortable, light or sports clothing, and tennis shoes is recommended.  Do not forget your camera, any snacks, sunscreen, and a bottle of water.  Have fun with nature in Puerto Rico!

Take a look at a video of Toro Verde Adventure Park:






Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Microsoft Store Will Open In Puerto Rico

A Microsoft Store is coming to Puerto Rico.  This will be the first Microsoft Store located off the continental United States.

The Microsoft Store will be located in the Plaza Las Americas shopping center in San Juan, Puerto Rico.    According to the newspaper El Nuevo Dia the store will open at the end of the year.

Microsoft plans to open a total of 75 stores in the next few years.


Monday, May 21, 2012

JetBlue To Start Flights From Washington, D.C. To Puerto Rico, JetBlue Adds Flights From West Palm Beach To Puerto Rico

JetBlue to start flights from Washington, D.C. to Puerto Rico

JetBlue Airways will be adding nonstop flights between Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.  The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted the carrier, a new nonstop “capital-to-capital” service between San Juan and Washington, D.C.  JetBlue's new flights will be the only nonstop service between Washington D.C. and the capital of Puerto Rico.
JetBlue expects to start this service in the fall of this year.

JetBlue launches flights from West Palm Beach to Puerto Rico

JetBlue starts new route from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in Florida.  The West Palm Beach route is new to Puerto Rico, and provides a new option for passengers to get to Puerto Rico.  Flights operate daily and are on sale now.  JetBlue's flights to and from San Juan will be operated with the airline's Airbus A320 fleet.

Puerto Rico is a major airline hub in the Caribbean.  JetBlue is the largest carrier in Puerto Rico, and offers service to 13 nonstop destinations throughout the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean. 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

WiFi To Be Available In Town Plazas In Puerto Rico

The island of Puerto Rico is making it easier for people to connect on the internet.  Thanks to a $3 million funding, through the island government’s Telecommunications Regulatory Board, all 78 towns in Puerto Rico, in their public plazas, will have free wireless Internet access by December of this year.  Providing this service is a policy of the governor of Puerto Rico.  The governor wants the internet, a tool to access the world, to be used by all residents of the island of Puerto Rico.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Board has already set up WiFi hotspots in Manatí, Moca, Toa Alta, San Sebastián, Aguada, Gurabo, Juana Díaz, Vieques and Loíza.  All residents and visitors of Puerto Rico will have access to the free WiFi.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Construction Of The Mall Of San Juan To Begin In Puerto Rico

The construction of The Mall of San Juan will begin this summer in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Mall of San Juan, formerly known as Plaza Internacional, will be the first upscale mall in Puerto Rico.  The Mall of San Juan, a two-level, 640,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art shopping center, will feature a 138,000-square-foot Nordstrom and a 100,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue.  This will be the first store in Puerto Rico for Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.  

As Puerto Rico Is The Place had previously reported, the project, which is located on the San José Lagoon on the Río Piedras side of Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, and just five minutes from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, is also expected to include a 240-room Crowne Plaza hotel and casino.  The $405-million shopping center will include more than 100 specialty stores and restaurants.  The opening of the mall is expected for late 2014.  New Century Development, Inc., and Taubman Centers are developing and managing  the project.

With The Mall of San Juan residents and visitors will enjoy new shopping options.  The Mall of San Juan, will bring a luxury shopping experience, and the place to shop and dine in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Puerto Rico An Entertainment City Is The Topic Of A Novel: "Puerto Rico City"

A mega-entertainment city is created, where the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station used to be, in a new novel, “Puerto Rico City,” by David R. Martin.  The 13-square-mile military air base in the town of Ceiba, Puerto Rico, has been closed since 2004, and the novel suggests this area is an important development opportunity.  The novel deals with the 2008 global financial crisis, the conflict of Puerto Rico’s ambiguous political relationship with the United States, and the island elections.

Lino Mendoza, is the book's main character.  Mendoza gets the idea to create "Puerto Rico City,"
to lift the economy of Puerto Rico, and bring Puerto Rico to international stature.   Puerto Rico city, according to the novel, would be better than Las Vegas, Macau, and Dubai.  Puerto Rico city would be a showcase for talented Puerto Ricans, in entertainment, music, sports, and the arts.  A place where everybody wants to be and be seen.  Lino Mendoza is in a race against time.  There will be no second chance to build Puerto Rico City. 

Interesting to note, is that the current government of Puerto Rico, Governor Fortuño administration, has plans to redevelop this old military air base, in the town of Ceiba, Puerto Rico.  The plan calls for a  “Caribbean Riviera,” with a 2,500-room hotel, a large casino and entertainment complex, and an adjacent airport and passenger-ferry terminal, which would link the resort to Vieques and Culebra.  Is this a case of art imitating life?